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tv   Cross Talk  RT  March 6, 2013 12:29pm-1:00pm EST

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into the global economy with mike stronger the no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to the report on our. oh and welcome to crossfire where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle another shot at forced regime change that's what it looks like syria continues to experience collapse the neighborhood is not being spared what was a tragic domestic civil war is now becoming
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a regional conflict again the law of unintended consequences appears to be in play . across not the syrian civil war i'm joined by flynt leverett in washington he is a professor of international relations at penn state university and co-author of the book going to turn around why the united states must come to terms with the islamic republic of iran also in washington we have matthew feeney he is an assistant editor at reason twenty four seven and in new york we cross to ed hussein he's a senior fellow for middle eastern studies at the council on foreign relations gentlemen cross-talk rules and i think that means you can jump in anytime you want flynt. libya imploded syria exploding and taking the neighborhood with it. the risks of that are certainly increasing i've been saying for seems like two years now that the only way to stop the violence to put
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a lid on this is through diplomacy diplomacy aimed at political settlement based on on power sharing. the u.n. envoy the arab league envoy mr brahimi potentially capable capable mediator for that kind of process he initially resisted pressure to say that i had to go as the beginning of a political process but eventually succumb to that pressure and that's really reduced his potential of fact of russia is trying to stepping up its efforts to to promote a political process the syrian government is ready to take part other important players iran china are backing a political process but unfortunately some of the supporters of the syrian opposition the united states europeans the saudis seem determined. to
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intensify their arms support their military support for the opposition that's going to make it very hard to get serious diplomacy going and it's going to keep the violence rolling along and is it too late for diplomacy no. not evil we should give diplomacy every chance for as long as possible i think on the currency what does the syrian opposition want to play because there's a syrian opposition want diplomacy and what. we have the evidence to support the fact that. has gone out of his way has upset his own rank and file in his own follow was to open negotiations with a butcher a stage regime in damascus is no two ways about it this is a regime that's killed its own people maimed its own people and despite. the fact that the syrian national council and even if an army or elements within it and al qaeda supporters inside the country that are hell bent on destroying the regime are
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going out of his way and repeatedly offered in the last two months with the us support i hasten to add. and initiatives that results in greater peace what was acid response to that i said demolished president assad demolished miles of her family home in damascus the day after michael made the offer for diplomacy and peace talks so i don't think it's just the fault of the rebels here think it's important to realize that the shuttle i said and his supporters are not really in the business of peace because they've got everything to lose and the opposition has everything to gain ok matthew the opposition have peace in mind you sound like a nasty lot to me excuse me sure well i don't think all of them are an awful lot and i think most of the opposition or you know a huge significant amount of them do want peace and want to you know a transition. going to be much less bloody than what it's been my only concern with this political line is just as ed was saying you know there are elements of the opposition and who's going to be speaking for them to assad is gone it seems to me
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that whatever is going to be messy whatever happens point what do you think about that i mean there's the are you know we supporting the right people meaning the west supporting the right people in syria. or do we know of course not of course not but i mean it's very very clear i mean there is a long track record of u.s. and western support for armed groups seeking to overthrow their government whether it's in afghanistan whether it's in iraq whether it's in libya or now in syria and every time we have done this it is it is it has generated massive civilian carnage and it has produced serious blowback oftentimes to terrorism so you know again. what is going through his respect all we need is you know you do handing pretending as though there is western support there is no support for the syrian opposition that's why we're in the mess that we're in partly who's given the order to be where
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they are where the arms going the promise of who's giving them the are who's not raining just look at today's times report no no no no i mean they they seek almost five hundred tons of week what they're getting is about forty tons of bombs and those arms they're buying themselves with money that's coming from them from individual donors in the gulf there is no state support either from the u.s. or from the european union or from turkey or from saudi arabia in the sense of supporting them in the way the libyan opposition has supported the opposition once and i think they have the established. support them and they're now getting involved in training the u.s. is now getting involved in training. the point that's not support and that's not weaponry ok matthew chance is the weapon matthew jump in you usually. are the rebels and then you train them to use them and that's not that's not arm support that's that's really semantic nonsense the fact the fact is they have no weapons from the west there's a you can't deny the facts the desperate for those weapons they don't have those
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weapons now to go ahead. sure i mean we i think it's worth keeping in mind that john kerry said recently you know the u.s. would not be providing direct military support because he is he and other american officials are concerned about where these weapons are going to end up and you know . i think it's also worth keeping in mind that obama has changed his mind on this before and that petraeus clinton panetta were all apparently urging the president to back you know with military aid the syrian opposition i think we can all be thankful that the president decided to not do that even though it seems now that it is going to become a little more direct from the united states point is this a good idea if the united states is involved in helping others make decisions well to whom weapons will be given and then the united states is involved in training rebel fighters in using those weapons the united states is supporting and armed insurgency. fair point do you agree or disagree with it no neither is just
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no it's just that it's a black and white very simple outlook the fact is that the syrian uprising was spontaneous it was homegrown it was native it was not driven by the us syrian rebels came to the u.s. for support and again the fact is the us thus far has provide humanitarian aid non-lethal support and given food and blankets has not given the kind of weapons that flint asserts and. and poured fuel on on the conflict us has tried repeatedly to reign in this conflict the u.s. is not involved in that in the kind of. support that being portrayed we should be debating whether it should or shouldn't but it seems to me that the fact that it's being portrayed that the u.s. is already it's a done deal that somehow you know that the u.s. is providing arms when it really isn't and this is a point repeating this fact over and over and over again that the rebels want to arm from the u.s. the turks the gulf allies the u.s. has wants the u.s.
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to support i said on the basis of being in this country in the regular basis that you know the u.s. gets flak again and again that why are you supporting the syrian opposition and the u.s. isn't that said the russians and the iranians are actively supporting the regime and there's an there's an imbalance there and it's worth addressing that imbalance rather than pretending that somehow the u.s. is involved in arming the opposition when it blatantly nakedly is not matter you want to jump in. well i guess what i mean i agree that perhaps you know the discussion should be you know. whether age should be increased even though you know i agree with ed that i don't think the u.s. is providing direct military support to assad's opposition that said i don't actually think it's worth you know actually providing aid to the opposition in that way even with their own and russian support for the assad regime but i don't know if lynch happens to agree with i don't know if went to go ahead jump in look i
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think i think you know we are just going to play more seriously and would say with point go ahead point we may we may argue about how to parse and interpret various channels various levels various modes of us support for the opposition but i think it is simply incontrovertibly that the united states is supporting the opposition and wants to see it succeed in the project of overthrowing the assad government and as long as that is the u.s. position and the u.s. is involved in whatever ways in supporting the opposition the chances for getting a political process off the ground which might actually produce a power sharing agreement and in this conflict are are negligible and that's really the only way out of that i think the opposition can't win. it's deadlocked
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go ahead jump in go ahead good point though the opposition and no no i'm sorry forgive me i think the opposition can win if the opposition was given the level of support that it required whether it's anti-tank weapon real whether it's anti aircraft weaponry those are the two key forms of weaponry that the opposition has repeatedly demanded and you're getting opposition is that when you make the point at a u.s. . company outside of the give me and forgive me help if i may she final turn if i may know if i if i may forgive me if i may if the u.s. wanted to remove bashar assad from power it could do so within twenty four hours it has that level of military capability in superiority and i said knows it the u.s. is major concern and i think the west major concern is what happens after assad falls and unless that question is answered the u.s. is i think the obama administration rightly thinking twice about forcefully removing us that it can be done at the drop of a hat but it hasn't been done for the reasons that need to be outlined in other words the sectarian. infighting among the opposition would you like to see we're
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going to do like those really you're going to learn a thing i said would you like to see the u.s. do that in twenty four hours. it's not as simple as whether i would like one or you did it it was a party vote assyria with the forceful removal you just said it was yes but no worst possible doesn't mean it's inevitable no possibly nobody should ever be able to predict should it be possibility means it should not be the u.s. has and has not exercised it should not be all right gentlemen i'm going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on syria stay with. the only thing we want. is a. these
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children. they are serving a sentence just like their mother. little ones born in prison. now must pay for the crimes committed by their parents. babies on our t.v. . more news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world
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has been seeing from the streets of canada asked a child hope for a shelter on the day. at.
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least. welcome back to crossfire where all things are considered i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the syrian war. ok it does force regime change ever work is never worked out. as i think the recent history of for speaking changes if we're looking at iraq as an important case study the answer is the regimes don't work out and i think that lesson has been learnt and that's why there's a reluctance in the wisdom of the prudence on the part of the west to forcefully
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remove us it can be done but it has not been done for the very reasons that iraq showed us that there are tensions sectarian. graphics religious economic just like syria syria that make it difficult probably be asking the well absolutely yeah exactly like syria well you should probably be asking the people in you should be asking the people in mali if actually iraq is the most recent or best example for change what we did in libya certainly spilled over into mali and the french are trying to be french and other african and african forces are trying to deal with it's not as if you know the. iraq was the last time the u.s. intervene militarily in libya and also the libya libya is a good example flint go ahead jump in. i don't need forcible regime change works and it doesn't matter whether it's done by massive and direct western military
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intervention invasion and occupation as in the case of iraq or if it's done you know somewhat more standoffish fully or indirectly by relying on local proxies and providing air support like we did in libya or if we are providing support for local proxies as we are in in syria it doesn't work it produces massive political carnage it does not create stable political outcomes and it and its aftermath and you want to jump in there. yeah i mean. i think in general that's acceptable but there are exceptional circumstances in which we should not go down the route of for ever ruling out intervention in countries in which dictators are butchering their populations if the population is homogenous if there is a credible opposition in place then intervention by the international community is necessary and warranted in the un with the are two people the right to protect doctrine gives that legal cover but the most important point is the day after and i
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think often we get the day after wrong as we saw in the several examples that came up libya be it iraq but elsewhere and the problem with the un's doctrine of right to protect is there is no commitment then on the part of the global powers of the international community to nation build afterwards and to ensure law and order and there is great enthusiasm here in the west to remove and remove the shuttle i said but there is much like iraq no day after plan no coherence among the opposition and sectarian tensions flaring up a region that's unstable and for those very reasons i think the west rightly thus far has not intervened in the way that it could do when two striving this is it so do you really are you deliberately try and pull out a country that you think does mean. matthew go ahead could you perhaps in a country you think does meet those criteria. is there a country the. i mean off the top of my head i can't sort of identify a country but i mean one that does come to mind of the iranian. dictatorship of
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the ukrainian clerics were to unleash mass violence in on the population in the way that the syrians have i think iran's much more contained geographically than syria is iran's population is much more moderate in the population and what about what about violet what about there were protests in syria i think it's a dictatorship so he really was a dictatorship. you are you asked for an example and. on a theoretical level but the reality on the ground is not that way inclined yet in iran and i think that's that's an important example so drivers different saudi arabia's economic assets the idea that anybody here in the majority wants to hold out of operation is absurd when jump in. i think no no no that wasn't point it was you know no let's just evolved and that was the point of knowing that you're going on i don't know if you don't know i want to go to go ahead point. the idea that the
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west should consider intervening in any rawness if it was part of god cracks down on its population that it's this you know hated dictatorship that doesn't have the majority support of the iranian population is just absurd there is absolutely no empirical data to support that proposition and vast amounts of empirical data polling studies and others that would that would say say otherwise the responsibility to protect doctrine does not supercede the basic stipulation of the un charter that countries can only use force in self-defense or when the security council has authorized it under a chapter seven resolution those are the requirements for the legitimate use of force and the security council has not authorized it in syria it's not going to authorize it in iran and to try and use r two p. responsibility for attack as a justification for doing this with out the security council authorization makes
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a travesty of any notion of international law or no no that wasn't my point i think you're missing the i think you fundamentally missed my point the point is on its own is not enough to pete without the commitment to nation build afterwards and without a commitment to put law and order in place does not suffice for the purposes of protecting a population which is being butchered by a political force that's the point the point is not to use and then intervene and invade countries i think completely missed the point i'm trying to make ok matthew what's who's driving this is that the saudis and the gulf countries i mean this may be because when there is no u.s. national interest in syria. well no the it doesn't seem like there is except you know obviously the fear it could gain a bit of a foothold it seems amazing to me that you know the government's job is to protect its national national interests and to declare war when appropriate and
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. i have yet to hear any american politician seriously or any well known one say look why don't we have a declaration of war against the assad regime and go in defeat him and you know get out but i had saying you know the tendency to want to nation build afterwards and in the syria it just seems like that would not be possible given the current situation and what if assad left today what would happen in syria anything different you know i mean no not in the national i don't know it's a hypothetical hypothetical hypothetical flint go ahead. i think you know the idea that the opposition is going to form some coherent nationwide government in syria is is a delusion you know if left to surrender damascus you would still have you know tens of thousands of men under arms supporting the syrian government who
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would be you know controlling various parts of syria among the opposition you would have various regional basically worn boards emerge controlling different parts of syria it would be it would be chaos it would be an incredibly sustained violent situation i also want to say on the point about us motivated describing the current situation when it started describing there is really not that interesting i mean it's a lot of trying to push back against iran ok that's what i was getting at go ahead jump in. the description that flint provides is the perfect description of what we're seeing at the moment two sides at logger loggerheads complete chaos in the country unwarranted and unlimited bloodshed across syria and i think flint is right the real issue here is iran and the real issue here is to well down to what it's all about it's not about the syrian people it's not about the masses he says it's about iran it's about around i mean i hear you i hear you i hear you it started off
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and it continues to be about iran for those of us outside of the country but i think inside the country for twenty million plus syrians it's not about iran and it's about their freedoms it's about them being butchered by bashar assad and it's about the interference and they also you know nobody are designed by late turkey by qatar by russia by iran by hezbollah those are the difficulties inside syria and that's the reason why is it wants to go via russia the us and turkey to try and negotiate a settlement with us but for as long as asset is in power he's not part of the solution he continues to be part of the problem whether it's through russia or through iran god forbid all the backing from the europeans in the u.s. needs to step down he needs to move aside he can't be the force that holds the country together because he is now the cause that continues to divide this important country in the region there are u.s. national interests involved because there are u.s. regional interests involved syria is not just syria which is a country contained it shares borders with jordan with israel with iraq with turkey
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these are important allies and the conflict in syria is already spilling out into lebanon into iraq into jordan two hundred thousand it's a lie. unless the community we're going to do it so it's an eternal hell because it is just a dream or environment we just need more violence matthew go ahead jump in. if you're going head to demonstrate your god they are willing to address the spillover from the conflict well so all i wanted to say was that it seems that you know turkey. he and israel have both demonstrated that they oh willing and able to deal with the spillover of the conflict i still fail to recognize why u.s. interests directly affected obviously our allies might have you know issues with the spillover but they seem perfectly capable of addressing it themselves so for clint go ahead. i think we're going to really get a point to add that the that the u.s. perspective straight i mean to us started supporting the opposition in syria
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because the obama administration calculated it was a way of pushing back against iran and that assad's overthrow might even in their calculations spark the overthrow of the islamic republic this was detached from reality but it was an important part of the calculation in two thousand and eleven going into two thousand and twelve then the administration begins to get spooked because of let's call it the benghazi effect i mean the reality is the u.s. ambassador in libya was almost certainly killed by groups that either the u.s. and armed and supported or that u.s. allies had had armed and supported so before an election you don't want that kind of blowback the administration backs away from syria bit now they're stepping back in because they think somehow they're going to be able to stage manage the balance of power between you know jihad in general more moderate elements and shiny danish
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guys and i'm afraid we've run out of time many thanks to my guests today in new york and in washington and thanks to our viewers for watching us here at r.t. see you next time and remember to talk. his power was the envy of ambrose he had good reason to trust no one. his body was found on the floor of his huge empty house. but did he die of natural causes. the mystery of stuff instead of going to see.
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plug. live.
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live. live plug the a. live . look live live . lucks live.
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at the end of the speech. she gave. her. mum i wish i. was lucky. because i'm a slow good live. mother just see the mountain and. tell my son i'm a little. breaking news this twenty.

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